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MASON CITY, IA – The state of Iowa leads the nation in ethanol production and with nearly three dozen ethanol plants throughout the state, it’s no surprise that many have found and international market for their products.
In order to make fuel grade ethanol, plants utilize the starch part of the corn leaving over a dry matter.
That dry matter is being used in animal feeds both domestically and overseas in places like China, Europe, and Canada.
The “dried distillers grain” is packed with fiber and protein.
“The dried distillers grains that we’re speaking of here are actually coming right back in and displacing corn and soy beans in the livestock. So it reduces the impact of ethanol production and corn availability and supply,” says Jim Leiting, General Manager of Big River Ethanol Co.
Plants like the Big River Ethanol Company have been exporting the dried distillers grain since about 2004. But things have picked up as the ethanol industry has dramatically increased in recent years.